Protect your joints – low impact exercise
Keeping yourself in good shape and getting fit are of course wonderful things, but everyone’s body is different, and what might work for one person might not work out the same for you. And especially if you have previous injuries or are needing to get your weight down, low impact exercise could be much more beneficial for you than high impact.
It can be all too tempting to throw yourself headfirst into a tough training regime, but consider if you’re doing more harm than good. You want your joints to last a lifetime so you need to take care of them. If you are experience clicking, aches, or pains in your joints, or your weight is rather higher than it should be, then you can still get fit without damage thanks to these low impact exercises.
Unless you have mega dodgy knees and serious knee issues already, then cycling is a great way to exercise. You won’t be bearing your own weight since the wheels will, so you can work up a good sweat and get your heart rate up without stressing your joints. And the great thing about cycling is that you can really pedal away for hours, burn loads of calories and all without overloading your body.
Whether it is swimming laps or taking part in some aqua aerobics, being in the water is the perfect low impact exercise. The buoyancy of the water will support your weight and lighten you, meaning that you won’t be putting as much pressure on your joints. Just remember to keep well-hydrated when swimming – you won’t be sweating and may not notice you’re getting thirsty, but it’ll help with your performance.
Rather than pounding away mile after mile on the treadmill, if you want to protect sensitive or stressed joints, choose to work-out on the elliptical instead. Since your actual feet are stationary and it is other muscles in your body that are doing the work, you won’t be putting as much pressure on your joints. In fact although you can get a great session in on the elliptical, the impact on your leg joints is more akin to walking.
Yoga or Pilates
Perfect for gaining more flexibility, improving your balance and working on your core strength, there is a reason that yoga and Pilates are popular with people of all ages. You’ll get to strengthen and work out your muscles and all without putting undue pressure on your joints, and you’re going to love feeling stronger in this low impact way.
Running on sand
If you really love running but are starting to experience unfortunate twinges in your legs, then stop running on the pavement and hit the local beach instead. Running on the sand will cushion your joints much more than tarmac will and is actually a great way to build up your muscles and endurance since it is of course going to be tougher going.
So don’t avoid exercising if you’re worried about damaging your joints – simply choose low impact activities that’ll still let you work on your fitness.